Publisher’s Summary: When Sunny Dae–self-proclaimed total nerd–meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom–with its electric guitars and rock posters–for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.
Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.
Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.
Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.
But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it–and if it’s possible to ever truly change.
From New York Times bestselling author David Yoon comes an inventive new romantic comedy about identity, perception, and how hard it can feel sometimes to simply be yourself.
My Review: Do you need a little laughter in your life? 2020 is a year that could use more smiles and Sunny Dae could bring a few your way. This year I have read a few more rom-coms than usual. I was excited to see this new story by David Yoon because Frankly in Love was pretty fantastic. Yoon did not disappoint. I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen similar scenarios with the fake persona to win the love interest, but it has to be at least as many times as folks learning a new instrument to impress someone. Lest you think this is unrealistic, one of my children learned how to play a song on the saxophone in a few weeks for a talent show. It can be done and high school students can sometimes dream big enough and have the audacity to try. Young people are truly impressive.
Obviously, many mistakes are made and there are a significant amount of cringeworthy moments. Even if we haven’t experienced this exact set of circumstances, everyone can relate to situations where we have royally messed up. We may cringe for Sunny, but readers will also be able to empathize. This would be especially true for anyone who has ever been labeled or has labeled themself a nerd.
Sunny is seriously smitten and will do pretty much anything to be cool enough for Cirrus. I loved his earnestness and his creative way of thinking. He’s quite the idea man. That’s where he sometimes gets in trouble though. And while his relationship with Cirrus and his best friends take up a significant portion of the book, his family relationships also play a big role in the story. I would have liked to know the side characters to be developed a bit more, but overall, this was a delight.
Recommendation: Get it as soon as you can. This book brought me some much needed laughter and I hope it’ll do the same for many others.